Mink Machine

Is Microsoft dead?

I just read an article by Paul Graham entitled Microsoft is dead. He claims that Microsoft is no longer a threat to other companies and mentions four things that supposedly killed the company: Google, Ajax, broadband and Apple.

Even though I find the article interesting, I don’t subscribe entirely to his point of view. Yes, Microsoft is a lesser threat these days than a decade ago, but far from dead. They are one of the most profitable companies in existence, their browser IE is the most widely used software application in the history of computing and they are continuously releasing new software with a ridiculously large user base.

In fact, IE6 is cursed by developers all around the world, including me, but six years after it’s release it is still the most popular browser with almost 50% of the users!

Graham also states that the desktop is dead as a target platform. Again, I beg to differ. Even though very advanced things can be done on the web with great interactivity and efficiency, I still think the desktop will survive for many years to come. I believe applications such as WPF and Apollo are leading the way to a place where the desktop and web can co-exist in a friendly manner. Even Jason from 37signals writes I’d rather be Microsoft than Yahoo.

The death of Microsoft? Hardly. Rather another step in the reformation that took off with Ray Ozzie a few years ago.

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